Zoom eases swimmers' lockdown gloom

January 30 2021

With England in its third lockdown, swimming clubs are back out of the water again, to the disappointment of so many young swimmers.

Keynsham Amateur Swimming Club believe that with children not being at school, it is even more important to keep their swimmers connected with their club friends and maintain fitness levels.

Coaches Jasper Lye (regional squad) and Zach Derrick (county squad) have been delivering weekly Zoom sessions focussing on the importance of pre-pool and post-pool exercises for both training and competition, working on swimming goals, and taking a look at set planning.

There is a schedule of Zoom land training sessions for all the competitive squads. Once a week the whole club are invited to take part in a Friday family fun activity, usually a cook-along or a quiz night. Most recently it was Fajita Friday!

Keynsham are also looking forward to welcoming elite swimmers Joe Litchfield, Anna Hopkin and their very own Olympian, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, to some virtual Q&A sessions soon.

Level X Racing results

On December 19 and 21, Keynsham were extremely fortunate to be able to squeeze in Level X Racing events between lockdowns. The swimmers were excited to be able to finally compete in again in these events, which were introduced by Swim England to give swimmers goals and times on the board in a nationwide virtual gala.

There were many personal bests and some fantastic swims across all the competitive squads.

Series 1 of Level X Racing started on October 23 and ended on December 31. The results are submitted to Swim England, who then publish national leader boards across each age group and event category, shining a light on all the achievements and awarding medals to the top three swimmers in each leader board category.

Keynsham swimmer Laura B, a remarkable 11-year-old butterfly swimmer, made the top ten spot three times, with 3rd in 100m butterfly, 5th in 50m butterfly and 10th in 100 Individual Medley (IM).

Proud mum Rita said: “We are very proud of Laura. This is on a national level, so out of all the children who competed in England, it’s a great achievement to make the leader board.”

Performance swimmer Georgia G (16 years) also had success in the series, bagging a silver (200m IM) and bronze (100m IM), plus a 10th spot in the leader boards for 100m breaststroke. And team mate Jess L (14 years) topped the national leader boards six times, including a bronze in 100m  backstroke.

The girls are still waiting for their medals to arrive in the post. Meanwhile, everyone at Keynsham is looking forward to the start of Series 2, which has been put on hold until after lockdown.

The next generation

Keynsham has space swimmers aged 5-8 years in the Prelim Squad (school years Reception, 1, 2 and 3). If your child can swim one length (25 metres) of front crawl and backstroke they may be what Keynsham are looking for.

Trials will take place at Keynsham pool after lockdown, so now would be a good time to get onto the list.

Swimmers from all ages (including over 18s) are welcome to apply for a trial. Contact thea.beament@keynshamswimming.club or enquire via the club’s Facebook page.